Napoli have a magnificent chance to claw closer to the top three again, and put one of their rivals in that chase further behind them in the process. With Roma and Fiorentina losing earlier in the weekend, if the partenopei can beat Sampdoria it will make their position in Serie A much, much stronger. If Lazio could find a way to lose to Chievo, well, that'd be nice too.
Stumbling, But Not Fallen
Sampdoria are winless in their last three matches, falling to Fiorentina before successive draws with AC Milan and Cesena. They've still been playing well, though, and they'll be doing all they can to upset Napoli and stay close to the race for a potential Champions League place.
They've yet to fully overcome the loss of Manolo Gabbiadini, who is likely to start against his former club in this match, as while Samuel Eto'o has performed well since joining in January, Sampdoria as a whole haven't quite figured out how to properly integrate him in to their side. Figuring out how to work him in tactically has left them imbalanced at times, something they can't afford if they want to find a way to get something out of this match with how well Napoli are playing of late.
One Match At A Time
Napoli have a huge opportunity at hand, with the chance to pull to just two points behind Roma in third place. Napoli's Champions League dreams rely on that positioning --even with a Europa League trophy still possible, it'd be better not to be dependent on winning it -- but they can't catch themselves looking ahead if they want to pass the capitol club. They need to stay focused on the task at hand if they want to accomplish their goals, concentrating on winning each match one at a time.
They'll be without the services of the suspended Christian Maggio, as well as the injured Jonathan De Guzman and Juan Camilo Zuniga. It has to be said that while the loss of De Guzman might be addition by subtraction with how poor he's been the absences of Maggio and Zuniga leave Napoli woefully undermanned at an already-weak position at right back. How Napoli address that weakness will go a long ways towards determining how the match ends.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Napoli: Andujar; Henrique, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Lopez, Jorginho; Gabbiadini, Hamsik, Insigne; Higuain
Sampdoria: Viviano; De Silvestri, Silvestre, Romagnoli, Mesbah; Obiang, Palombo; Eder, Soriano, Eto'o; Okaka
At A Glance
Sampdoria: 5th; 12W 14D 5L; League Form: DDLWWW
Napoli: 4th; 15W 8D 8L; League Form: WWLDLD
When Last We Met: Sampdoria 1-1 Napoli
It took until extra time and going down to ten men, but Napoli were able to pip a late goal to steal a point out of a match that they maybe deserved to lose. The result saw them move back in to third place after a rough run of form, which certainly shares some with the opportunity at hand in this match. The full recap is here.
TV: BT Sport 1 (U.K.), Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Premium Calcio HD (Italy), RAI International
Online: beIN Sports Connect (U.S. & Canada), Premium Play, Sky Go Italia (Italy)
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